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Veterinary Student Expelled from Tufts Over Grade Hacking

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by shee-p, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. ajs513

    ajs513 PennVet c/o 2023

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    If she can’t get this expunged, probably not. American schools at least ask if you’ve ever been disciplined by a school. Saying you were expelled is a guaranteed no. Saying you were expelled for hacking into the system to change your grades is a hell no. There’s no way she recovers from this and ends up as a veterinarian.
     
  2. cheval12

    cheval12 TBD c/o 2023

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    I don't know if I totally agree. I got in trouble during undergrad - I had to check the "yes" box on VMCAS when it asked about disciplinary action. Nothing like grade hacking, and it affected no one but myself, but I was still made to leave the school for a period of time. I can't describe to you the feeling I felt when this happened. It's like your entire world is ending, you have no hope of ever atoning for your mistake, and you just want to give up. Definitely lowest point of my life by far. Now times this by the magnitude of Filler's case - t's VET SCHOOL not even undergrad! And she was so close to graduation.
    Because of my personal experience with this sort of stuff, I will never ever agree with this crazy "witch-burning" mentality we all seem to have these days. Why is everyone so gung-ho on ruining someone else's life? Innocent til proven guilty was what this country was built on! I know, I know Tufts is a private institution and can do whatever they want, but doesn't mean I agree with it.
    Anywayssss, I've definitely gone on a tangent and strayed from your point. Fact is - I got into several vet schools this year! I can finally put that mistake behind me. I hope to God the same can happen for Filler - IF she is indeed innocent, which I believe she is until I have sufficient proof to believe otherwise.
    One notable difference between her case and mine - I was 100% guilty and in the wrong. My mistake was totally my own and the school was right.
     
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  3. ajs513

    ajs513 PennVet c/o 2023

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    I think the difference might come from the fact that you weren’t expelled. That had to have made a big difference. If this girl is innocent, she of course shouldn’t suffer any consequences. But if she did it, i have a very hard time believing any school would accept her.
     
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  4. Stagg737

    5+ Year Member

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    I know. I was giving an example of a funding source with strings attached that you have to completely pay back if your career trajectory changes. Used it because it's likely the most broadly known program.
     
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  5. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    With respect, you completely misunderstood me. I wasn't referring to social engineering with the possible compromise of the librarian's creds. That'd simply have to be witnessed or recorded on security camera. In other words, I agree with you on that part. But that's not what my point was.

    Let's review the quote:

    I highlighted in red what I was talking about: not the compromise of the librarian's creds but the creation of the Scott Shaw dummy account, which was how penetration into the school's systems first occurred, and everything after that initial penetration was lateral movement (i.e., after you break into a house, you can more easily move from room to room).

    To say this again in other words, I'm saying that the creation of the Scott Shaw dummy account with all sorts of admin privileges is the lynch pin that allowed lateral movement (i.e. pivoting to other systems once inside the Tufts "house") access to other systems and to reset passwords of faculty, access to quiz answers, and access to change grades. The Scott Shaw account is not only NOT irrelevant, it's material. I'd say that it's THE most important detail to focus on before other stuff. And it's going to leave logs in several systems.

    This is where you are completely out of your element. There is absolutely, positively a trail of breadcrumbs to follow, unless we're talking nation-state level attack. This Tufts attack is middle school or high school hood rat stuff. There's absolutely going to be digital evidence that a forensics person would know how to analyze.
     
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  6. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    What's funny/sad is that in reality, evidence/logs can and do get destroyed or deleted or just aged off the system. So they very well could go, "Crap, we no longer have those logs! We only keep 180 days of logs in [system] and 90 days in [firewall] etc. etc."

    I worked on a subpoena once where the bank I was working for was working on a fraud case (I don't remember details), and I had to look into the recorded security cam footage for some date range and provide it within like 24 hours to someone working the case, but things like camera footage often roll over/age off, and so do many system logs.

    Could be by design or through sheer incompetence or even malice. Either way, even if Filler does sue Tufts School of Vet Med, it may be too late for some forensic examination. Heck, if the Apple "Geniuses" really did wipe her MacBook Air, they may have also destroyed any evidence that would help (or hurt) Ms. Filler.



    I'm with you in that the door's wide open that she cheated somehow. The only thing that would make sense from the article would be if she hired someone to do the dirty work and then crafted alibis and fulfilled those alibis -- rounding on patients, Mark Twain House, sitting in class, sleeping, going out to a restaurant, etc. But it's 100% idiotic to use her own laptop or phone or to have malware installed on her system, since all of those things show guilt. It's more than a little bit weird to me that even an otherwise smart vet med student who's not skilled in breaking into systems would still be smart enough to not have the bad guy(s) use her own devices. It's also equally weird for the administration to randomly destroy a student's career. This whole thing smells, and the only thing that would help is to see the evidence/details. Until then, my conscience is cleaner letting her graduate.
     
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    #56 Stroganoff, Mar 14, 2019 at 6:12 PM
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 9:22 PM
  7. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Due process only applies to criminal investigations, people need to stop tossing it about like everything in life is afforded due process omg
     
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  8. DVMDream

    DVMDream Don't disturb the snowflakes
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  9. danseth

    danseth c/o 2023

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    I feel personally attacked because you chose to quote my post but thanks.
     
  10. cdoconn

    cdoconn obsessed with the plague
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    I mean, he quoted your post because you said that by living in the United States she is owed due process, but that’s not the case.

    Don’t feel attacked! :laugh:
     
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  11. Caiter92

    Caiter92 Definitely not a cucumber with anxiety
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    Don't think MJ was attacking you, but it's important to realize "due process" only applies in a court of law. Other institutions set their own procedures.
     
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  12. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    Feel attacked. I need entertainment. Let's gang up on Mad Jack. No due process needed.
     
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  13. ziggyandjazzy

    ziggyandjazzy c/o 2022

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    So you're only like the 5th person to say this :laugh:

    Edit I may have exaggerated, but at least the 3rd ;)
     
  14. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    I became too irrationally irritated to read the rest of the replies
     
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  15. ziggyandjazzy

    ziggyandjazzy c/o 2022

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    Lol I was irritated by it as well, hence why I commented on it.
     
  16. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    Have a Snickers.
     
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  17. danseth

    danseth c/o 2023

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    I concur.

    Honestly, hacking her grades could be considered fraud which is illegal.

    Fraud is a criminal case and therefore this could be charged as so. So either way, being accused of this would make it criminal, therefore, due process should be allowed.

    Please explain, since I clearly do not understand, why you would not consider this situation criminal. It's not just academic dishonesty, it's hacking of grades that then affects other students' grades. A quick google search of "grade hacking" comes up with teenagers being charged with felonies for actually hacking their grades (again, criminal).
     
  18. Caiter92

    Caiter92 Definitely not a cucumber with anxiety
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    If the school actually filed a suit against her? Yeah, this could be a criminal case. But they did not. They dealt with this through their own academic affairs committee--where they are free to make their own policies. As had been said before, it's very common for schools to have a "guilty until you can prove yourself innocent" policy in things like this.
     
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  19. vetmedhead

    vetmedhead I hope my heart goes first!
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    Yeah, basically becomes criminal as soon as charges are filed and/or the case is brought to law enforcement's attention and they or their DA elect to pursue it
     
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  20. SkiOtter

    SkiOtter c/o 2022
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    These are their stories
     
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  21. britzen

    britzen VMCVM

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    The Supreme Court disagrees with you - students at public schools are entitled to due process in disciplinary matters - Goss vs Lopez (1975)
     
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  22. vetmedhead

    vetmedhead I hope my heart goes first!
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    This case specifically refers to:
    • Public education as a right (so, specifically, mandated education - which is K-12)
    • Requiring a school to hold a hearing before suspending a student, which would uphold that student's fourteenth amendment rights in the case of their right to public education
    The student involved in the Tufts case was not accessing publically mandated education (i.e. education they had a right to obtain), at a public institution (because Tufts is a private school), and did receive a hearing before expulsion.
     
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  23. Caiter92

    Caiter92 Definitely not a cucumber with anxiety
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    And doesn’t change that schools can have a policy of guilty until proven innocent, which is how Tufts is treating this student.
     
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  24. britzen

    britzen VMCVM

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    I wasn't trying to argue the point for this case specifically, I was mostly just trying to poke the bear by pointing out that due process does, in fact, apply in situations outside of criminal proceedings. Despite the case I cited being narrown in scope, to my understanding due process rights are actually extended to students of any publically funded school, including colleges and universities.

    If this student wants to make a stand that a private school legally did her wrong she still has several potential arguments:

    The student's comments about feeling like she was discriminated against due to her national origin could be a prelude to a Title VI challenge. She could trigger due process protection with that, even at a private school. There are quite a few recent cases of students fighting expulsion under Title IX citing lack of due process, and they have won even against private schools. Since it's a federal law, due process applies if the schools want to keep their federal funding.

    There is also precedent for expulsion suits being won against private schools based on breach of contract or because the disciplinary process the student faced wasn't fundamentally fair.

    I have no idea whether this girl has a leg to stand on legally, but I don't agree with the sentiment that a private school can just do whatever it wants when it comes to disciplinary action. They don't have to follow the same standards as a court of law, but legally they do have to be fair.
     
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  25. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    With a few exceptions, they have to have a process, not specifically due process as it is normally understood, and that process is often merely a kangaroo court
     
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  26. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    All of that being said, she has a good case for a lawsuit. Tufts really screwed up and they were looking for someone to pin the blame on to protect the guise of integrity, but they should have hired a forensics firm
     
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  27. Minnerbelle

    Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 7+ Year Member

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    I think this is where you fall in two camps. There are people who will argue the principle of the matter (you), and people who see it in the context of life where often times it just isn't fair (others).

    This student COULD get a lawyer and sue Tufts if she wanted to, and argue all the points above. But if anything, whether she will win or not would probably depend on how good a lawyer she could hire, and the resources she can put into pulling the evidence she needs to make her case. Anyone can sue anyone else on basis of whatever principle/law they think applies. Whether or not that's feasible to do and whether or not the courts agree with you are a totally separate matter. And it's also complicated by the fact that she's in Canada. As much as it sucks for her, a legal case like this would be such an undertaking that she likely cannot afford. If she loses, she would be so very screwed. Plus, she could have "felt" discriminated against for being Canadian, but that would be a bitch to prove.

    You may not agree with the "sentiment"
    that private schools can do whatever they want... but that doesn't mean it's not true. Unless what they are doing is illegal, and someone comes after them with a lawsuit, or there's enough public and donor outrage over something that the school changes what they do, they can do whatever they want.

    Also, even if a crime is committed, how the school handles the student and how the judicial system handles the student are two totally separate things. There are no laws stating that they have to agree. Plus, private schools can discipline students based on whatever rules they produce, and there aren't any set laws about how they go about disciplinary hearings.
     
  28. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    She may not have to pay a penny. FIRE could supply her with a lawyer or hire one, and she has enough publicity that she can crowdsource a team of lawyers.
     
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  29. cdoconn

    cdoconn obsessed with the plague
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    The problem is, what would even be the outcome of this? They’re not going to reinstate her. Even if they did, no hospital is going to hire her after doing a quick search. No school is going to accept the PR nightmare for transfer. The only reason for lawsuit is to maybe be able to get student loans paid back off/ keep it from happening again.

    AFAIK she was like 6 months away from being a DVM, if she truly is innocent (which I don’t know enough to say she is or isn’t), I can imagine she doesn’t want justice, she just wants to be let back in to finish, which is likely the one thing she can’t have
     
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  30. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    Kind of a rhetorical question.

    If she's successful, then I don't see this happening.

    ...is to win. I'm not following your thought process.

    Again, not following your thought process. If her lawsuit is successful, the terms would dictate that she finish and graduate. Heck, along with damages and defamation.

    All of this is dependent on the lawsuit/settlement, of course. I wish her luck.
     
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  31. Minnerbelle

    Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 7+ Year Member

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    I mean she's free to do whatever she wants. If she's innocent I really do feel for her, and hope there's some sort of way for her to get justice.

    It would be great if a pro-bono resource could help her out, but that's not a guarantee. Being a privileged white professional student might actually give her that. After all, that's really what is giving this story attention IMO, not the level of injustice she's actually facing. It's the "oh gosh if this could happen to her, it could happen to any of us!" factor that intrigues people. I can almost guarantee that there are way shadier expulsion cases out there that just result in a student getting screwed without anyone coming to their side.

    And crowdsourcing is great and all... but a lot of the time it's something a lot of people say they will do but it doesn't pan out. It's kind of like how my clients tell me all they time when their (not really) "instagram sensation" pet needs expensive care, that some other entity will pay for that pet's care. My response is, cool! Let me know when that happens.
     
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  32. Minnerbelle

    Moderator Emeritus Verified Expert 7+ Year Member

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    Well if she can at least get her tuition back and not be in debt, I bet she would like to have a fresh start at least, if becoming a vet is not an option. Also, if she's found to be innocent (not like OJ Simpson, but like truly convincingly they can prove it was someone else), I bet another vet school would take her to finish her degree. Tufts may even offer to let her do that.
     
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  33. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    Not sure why you're pushing this idea. Enough people are outraged she could probably get enough donations to fund a small legal team.

    Jesus Christ, I can't believe you just said that.

    Speaking for myself, I have no idea what she looks like, nor do I give a hoot. I'm looking at this based on what I'm getting out of the event, that's all. If she's innocent, I hope she sues, wins, graduates, and moves on in life. If she really did it, maybe this whole thing will blow over by next month.

    I agree with this part. But it's not about race.

    No clue why you're bringing this up in this thread. Water is wet, is it not? You're stating the obvious that there are shadier expulsion cases out there: I haven't seen anyone in this thread state the position that this one tops the list. This one's got our attention because of the publicity and because someone made a thread about it.

    I believe you are comparing apples and oranges. I submit that it is reasonable based on the petition and the discussion on this and other sites that enough people are intrigued enough that she could probably aggregate 3-4 figures or whatever.

    It's cool that some of your patients are celebrities. That's a new one. Like that "NO!" cat or something.
     
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  34. Minnerbelle

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    Just my 2cents, worth actually less than that. Never said you had to agree.

    Like I said, cool, if crowdsourcing legal fees to supply an adequate legal team is possible, that would be nice. I personally won't believe it until I see it. That's all. This isn't going to be just a few thousand dollars here and there kind of thing. Lawyers, forensic experts, etc... are ****ing expensive especially if it goes to court.
     
  35. cheval12

    cheval12 TBD c/o 2023

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    That's enough of a reason for her to pursue a lawsuit IMO!

    Hmm disagree. I'm sure she wants justice, at least, I would if I were her. Additionally, being let back in to finish would be a form of justice.
     
  36. WildZoo

    WildZoo Illegal in all 50, Unlynchable Wolf
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    BUM BUM
     
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  37. pinkpuppy9

    pinkpuppy9 Illinois c/o 2019
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    Same, I've had many nights where I've been on my couch dead to the world and extremely grateful that I had set my alarm before I crashed. Especially with the NAVLE out of the way, I definitely go to bed around 8-9pm when I can and sleep as late as possible.
    I agree. I would be willing to bet that nearly every vet school has had some sort of cheating scandal. Maybe it didn't involve high-tech methods, but the cheating still happens. I've heard stories about my own school, I saw it happen in undergrad, I've heard about it happening at other schools.

    I have no hope of understanding any of the tech behind all of this, but there are so many possible scenarios here and few would be in her favor. It seems extreme that someone would frame her (and possibly be spending quite a lot of money to hire someone, purchase whatever software, etc) and still bump up/down other students grades in addition to hers (what's the point of that if you're trying to frame one person? unless there is a bigger cheating ring they've yet to uncover and this girl, involved or not, was selected to be the one framed). If the school wanted to really get her, they should have hired a private tech investigator of some sort. I wouldn't trust my school's IT to do squat because they can barely get half of our systems to work smoothly, let alone be qualified enough to collect evidence with the goal of someone's expulsion. If she takes them to court, their evidence probably won't stand up.

    If she's innocent, I wouldn't give Tufts the benefit of my return. I'd rather find some school to accept me as a clinical year transfer with a group of island students. Can you imagine having to go back to a group of people that went to great lengths to have you expelled with questionable evidence and no fair process? There is something weird about both parties here, I guess we'll find out more with time.
    I actually had a client say this to a clinician and I! :smack: Needless to say, she came back a few days later with Care Credit.
     
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  38. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Could sue for damages equating to the loss of a veterinary career
     
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  39. britzen

    britzen VMCVM

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    A court could force reinstatement. They can also award her monetary damages including the cost of her education, lost wages equivalent to her loss of career earning potential as a veterinarian, and / or punitive damages.

    The most common legal "win" for students fighting expulsion seems to be a settlement that includes no money but reinstatement to their degree program. (Talk about awkwarrrrd)
     
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  40. britzen

    britzen VMCVM

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    that's gotta be worth at least, like, ten dollars
     
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  41. Trilt

    Trilt love doc + puppy snuggler extraordinaire
    Veterinarian Lifetime Donor Verified Account 10+ Year Member

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    I hear we usually get a couple cats during the run too
     
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  42. spottedfeatherik

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    So I just found out about this scandal like an hour or so ago, and until then I was pretty much dead set on going to Tufts (I planned on submitting my deposit a few days ago but didn’t get around to it because I became very busy and have been traveling since then). I know this has already been mentioned, but should this at all impact my decision to go there? Pretty much everyone in the thread has said no and that this could happen at any school, but I’m now worried that I’m going to have to deal with people sabotaging me and my grades (even though cutthroat was NOT the vibe I had gotten from Tufts students and faculty when I worked there two summers ago), or I’m going to be accused of doing something resulting in disciplinary action that I didn’t actually do. Basically, I know these fears are irrational, but I need someone to slap some sense into me :/ Please help!
     
  43. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring
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    Thank god someone took the setup
     
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  44. ZZ801832

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    I think at the end of the day this is a question only you can answer. Obviously there are a lot of things we don't know about the situation, but either way I'd say the chances of something like this happening again (or happening to you specifically) are slim to none. However, as a Canadian, I know that this story would make me think long and hard about attending any private American university, simply for the way that it was handled and the financial/emotional mess that this girl is now finding herself in.
     
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  45. DVMdreamcometrue

    DVMdreamcometrue c/o 2021
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    shee-p and Stroganoff like this.
  46. Cobyology

    Cobyology UW-Madison SVM c/o 2023

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    And people complain about the cost of veterinary medicine...
     
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  47. Cephal0pod

    Cephal0pod c/o 2020
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    Your fears are irrational, consider this a loving slap of sense ;)

    As others have noted, just about every school has had some sort of administrative and/or cheating hullaballoo at some point, whether it makes it to the news or not. My school included.

    Go to Tufts and do your own thing, don't try to hack anybody's grades or cheat on an exam or whatever, and I'm sure you'll be just fine.
     
  48. spottedfeatherik

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    Thank you!
     
  49. Stroganoff

    Stroganoff Never give up.
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    I like the Tufts Daily article, has a few more details. Little strange to allegedly cheat on a bonus quiz to bring your grade from a 99% to a 103%. Uh...

    Maybe it's tinfoil, but I wanna look at this alleged housemate that had an axe to grind against Filler.
     
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  50. PippyPony

    PippyPony not a wolf
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    Current Tufts student here. @lioness2408 already eloquently said a lot of what I would have had to say, including her comment about feeling like she is receiving a high quality education here, and being surprised by both the article and the reactions.

    All I'm really going to say beyond her comments is that in my personal opinion, Angie Warner (the head of the ethics committee quoted in the TechCrunch article) exudes integrity and is one of the most fair-minded people I have ever met. She cares deeply about her students and their futures, she cares about being a fair evaluator of student performance (arguably our most reasonable exam-designer), she has a strong sense of duty to animals and to the profession -- and I don't believe for a second that she would screw over a student on weak-sauce evidence. I simply cannot see her doing that based off of my interactions with her at the school, unless I'm suddenly a horrible judge of character.

    The article did freak me out a bit with that "oh gosh, what if this was a mistake" feeling, and I don't feel like I'm in a position to go to bat for our interim dean or the IT department to the same degree since I can't really speak to that on as much of a personal level...but I just can't see Dr. Warner and the rest of the ethics committee ruining a student's future unless they truly felt the student actually did do something that seriously violated the code of conduct.

    They would have understood the ramifications of something like this, and they expelled her anyways.
     
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